The New York Times is making me uncomfortable by asking to take our relationship to the next level.
It has suggested that this Valentine’s Day I give a “Times Digital or Home Delivery Subscription” to a loved one. I don’t know about you but in my world this is a major step towards commitment. One can still understand a digital subscription, but a home delivery? Now that’s putting too much pressure. Don’t get me wrong I like the Times. With some effort I may even grow to love it in so much as you can love something virtual.
I am not the touchy,feely type. Home delivery means an actual newspaper that can be touched and felt and for me to send that to someone as a Valentine’s Day gift is too committed. Also, for an ageing narcissist it would mean gifting myself the subscription.
Separately, if you believe in the Valentine’s Day kind of juvenile non-sense why would you gift a newspaper subscription and that too at 30 percent discount? I don’t get it. What would I say in my accompanying message? Perhaps this: “Darling, on this Valentine’s Day, what could be more lovely than a Times home delivery subscription. Who does not like fresh newspaper ink on one’s fingers in the morning? P.S.: At 30% off.”
If I needed any proof that the much dreaded purchasing behavioral science, mined from the vast Internet data, is inaccurate the Times email to me does it. If they knew my buying habits, which are non-existent, they should have known that I have never bought anything ever for Valentine’s Day.
My friend and fellow journalist Raju Korti cracked the real reason behind the Times email when he said on Facebook, “Mayank, obviously the loved one is The New York Times.” By that logic I am already done gifting since I am a subscriber.
It is touching to think that someone at the Times thinks that I can afford another subscription even if it is at a 30 percent discount. Here is an idea. Let the paper’s editorial team commission me to write an occasional op-ed and in return I will buy an extra subscription. I suppose I have enough professional standing and substance to write for the Times.